Ableist Language Slip: Stupid

Link to this article: https://ironwynch.com/scrolls/o7Cmy
One of the reasons I like the effort to reduce the use of ableist language is that I am a fan of verbal precision and frankness. Though it may be impossible to extract all of it, from English at least, thinking it through at least leads to more accurate statements. What one is attempting to express may seem kinder when one replaces the ableist term with one that does not put someone’s behavior in the context of incapability or deficiency. It may however be much more damning and cruel when one does not give someone a pass either.

In the past week, due to unusually harmful behavior from Moon and Shai, I caught myself using the word, “Stupid!” repeatedly. In both cases, I was dealing with lack of consideration for others’ safety with a side of sheep shit. Though we are all adults and free thinkers in this home, we are not psychopaths. So fatigue from the move and arrangement of the apartment, combined with the trend among the seeming blue collar but well parachuted bourgeoisie here to consider any regard for safety unfashionable has apparently made them forget important things. Shai was even doing things that he knows put us in all in danger and trigger my PTSD.

So the words “stupid” and “dumb” and “fucking idiotic” flew from my lips quite a few times before I caught myself. That was bad, and I know I made them feel bad. When I did catch it though, I made them feel worse because instead of accusing them of all manner of defectiveness, I was stating my feelings.

“When you do this, it makes me feel as if you don’t care about my wellbeing. I don’t know how to treat that. I don’t know how to process the idea of living with someone who does not care for my life.”

When I was young, I was discouraged from being honest about my feelings. On the surface I was encouraged, but whenever I was truthful, I was told this was wrong, sinful, and going to hell for disagreeing. Little did I know that not only was this forming me into a dishonest person, but I was being disempowered. This sneaky little trick in ableist language seems to be empowering at the expense of those with greater cognitive and social challenges, but it’s actually cutting the user of it off at the knees as far as effective speech. Ableist slurs put the receiver on the defensive and shuts them out in an attempt to shut them up, shut them down, or influence them to change their behavior. It puts up a wall that just casts their behavior in a bad light, but gives no real explanation. It is dismissive and deceptive.

Stating what you are feeling and how you are affected by their behavior, rather than accusing them of being mentally deficient or broken however, forces them to address the issue. There is no escape from the consequences of what they have done. I was taught that my feelings were irrelevant, but this is wrong. They are important to people who love me. Granted, I was taught to put my feelings aside in an argument because they don’t matter, by people who do love me, but those people have their own issues. I am positive that they were trying to help me navigate a cruel world, and did not intend to teach me weakness.

So I encourage my readers to try this. As best as you can, try to avoid ableist terms and slurs, not just because they’re ableist, but because they are usually dishonest. When you feel the urge to use any “shorthand” insult, take a moment to think about whether you’re talking to someone who wouldn’t get you and doesn’t want to, or someone who might actually care about you. If it’s the latter, try opening up and saying what’s on your mind.

In other news, the cute red haired peasant is attempting a comeback. He’s the one from the little fairytale I wrote awhile ago about why I don’t play with peasants anymore. That was the warning shots of my demisexual awareness. Aside of the peasant morality that leads most people to look for a relationship with a situation rather than a person, I can’t trust someone who would let Disney or their parents control their genitals. I wouldn’t even be that person’s friend much less their lover. I do wish them well though because as I’ve said before, being a freak ain’t for everybody.

He says he’s grown and changed since we last met. I guess we’ll see if that’s true in time. I’m happy with Red Lightning sexually. I’m poly, but I understand more people = more problems. So I’m not opening the door for dysfunction. There’s been enough drama. The peasant has to show me that he has some courage and accountability. He’s already failing in that he hasn’t yet spoken with Diva. If he doesn’t understand the importance of going through the tribe after he’s already messed up once, he has an accountability issue. He’s attempting isolation, which doesn’t necessarily lead to abuse by itself, but it gives the option. If he doesn’t get why I don’t want to give anyone the option of abusing their access to me, then he needs to stay away. Honestly, I’m not worried so much about him hurting me, but me or my people needing to neutralize him. If he has any bad intentions, it’s better for him to walk away before all that gets started.

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